Global Electric Motorcars
Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) is an American manufacturer in the low-speed vehicle category, producing neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) since 1998, low-speed vehicles (LSVs) since 2001. It has sold more than 50,000 GEM battery-electric vehicles worldwide as of October 2015. GEM was formerly owned by Chrysler. Since 2011 it is a wholly owned subsidiary of Polaris Industries.
The company was purchased by a group of North Dakota investors and was moved to Fargo, North Dakota. Global Electric Motorcars manufactured its first vehicle in April 1998, a 48-volt GEM car that accommodated two passengers and had a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h). Less than two months later, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) designated a new class of motor vehicle, the low-speed vehicle, also known as the Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV). This allowed GEM cars to be driven on public roads if they met certain safety criteria such as having safety belts, headlamps, windshield wipers, and safety glass.
GEM battery-electric vehicles are street legal in nearly all 50 US states on public roads posted at 35 mph (56 km/h) or less. With a top speed of 25 mph (40 km/h) GEM cars have a range of 30–100 miles (50–160 km) on a charge depending on the installed battery technology. They are battery-electric, operate on a 72-volt battery system and plug into a standard 3-prong 120-volt outlet for recharging, and fully recharge in six to eight hours.
There are currently six different models of GEM cars available primarily suited for intra-city use. GEM cars are used by local, state and national government agencies, resorts, master-planned communities, universities, medical and corporate campuses, as well as by sports teams, taxi-shuttle services and individual consumers.
- April 1998
- First GEM car produced in Fargo, North Dakota
- October 1998
- GEM eL first produced
- November 1998
- GEM eS first produced
- December 1998
- GEM e4 first produced
- December 2000
- DaimlerChrysler Corporation acquires Global Electric Motorcars, LLC
- March 2004
- 2005 models begin production
- June 2005
- Global Electric Motorcars receives its ISO 9001 Certification
- January 2006
- GEM has 150 dealers
- April 2006
- GEM e6 first produced
- December 2007
- Global Electric Motorcars celebrates its 10th Anniversary
- GEM eL XD first produced
- June 2009
- Global Electric Motorcars remains a wholly owned subsidiary of Chrysler Group LLC
- June 2010
- Global Electric Motorcars introduces the new Right Hand Drive GEM electric vehicle
- July 2011
- Global Electric Motorcars is sold to Polaris
- August 2014
- GEM receives first minor refresh under new owners Polaris
- GEM eM1400 utility vehicle first produced
- October 2015
- GEM eM1400 LSV first produced
- October 2016
- GEM launches full redesign of e2, e4, e6, & eLXD models including lithium-ion battery offerings
As of October 2015, the GEM neighborhood electric vehicle is the market leader in North America, with global sales of more than 50,000 units since 1998.
- Passenger Vehicles:
- GEM e2 LSV — A two-passenger vehicle
- GEM e4 LSV — A four-passenger vehicle
- GEM e6 LSV — A six-passenger vehicle
- Utility Vehicles:
- GEM eLXD LSV— A heavier duty version of the GEM with a 70 in × 48 in (1,780 mm × 1,220 mm) bed, which comes in several different configurations, and a 1,100 lb (500 kg) cargo capacity.
- GEM eM1400 LSV— A heavy duty GEM based on the Polaris ranger with a 51 in × 42 in (1,295 mm × 1,065 mm) bed with a 1,400 lb (635 kg) payload capacity.